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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Much ado about ... little, tiny pears.

Yesterday was a day off.  Sort of.  I drove my parents into the city for my mother's annual eye maintenance (that's what we call it).  It is always a pleasant day - I get to spend time with them, we get to stop at their favorite Chinese restaurant for lunch, I take them on a different route each year just to get my dad all excited about new sights.  Yesterday was a perfect fall day - the violent storm on Monday led to clear, blue skies, cool temps and the vistas along the route from Vermont into New York were beautiful.  That being said, it's a lot of driving.

And since I did get home earlier than my usual evening arrival, I thought I would tackle the half-bushel of Seckel pears that had been sitting on my counter since Sunday.  I had gotten a bee in my bonnet about transforming the beautiful little pears into glistening jars of candied brandy pears.  I am constantly amazed at the disconnect between my vivid and wildly romanticized imagination and the reality of what I actually end up with.  There must be Pollyanna in my genes.  In my overheated imagination, I saw perfect, tiny Seckel pears glimmering in a heady brew of brandy-laden, cinnamon-scented syrup.  Are you still with me?  Lots of eye-rolling going on out there?


The Seckel Pears of my dreams...not of my reality.

After four hours of sorting, peeling, cursing, dropping, more cursing, I ended up with a rather puny mound of wounded pear shapes that left me with a mere four pints of pale, weird forms floating in their aromatic, boozy brew.   I mean, really.  Did I actually think about how unlikely it was to find eight pounds of PERFECT pears in a half-bushel of falls that were jumbled in a big plastic bag?  Did I actually consider that these pears were grown organically, with little oversight and just may be less than perfectly shaped?  Did I actually imagine peeling ten pounds of teeny, tiny little lumpy, misshapen pears would be a snap?  Obviously, I must have been under the influence of the boozy content of the syrup.

Next year - same recipe, different pears.

14 comments:

  1. Ha! Oh, you keep such a great attitude through it all. I've been dealing with a bunch of those tiny pears as well, but I am not as good as you. I have decided to eat them fresh and come to YOUR house for the fancy stuff-LOL!

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    1. Sue - I'm always rosier in hindsight... :) You are more than welcome - but make it before February, because anything containing alcohol is ALL MINE in February.

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  2. Four pints of organic, brandied pears? Priceless!

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    1. Hoosier Girl - You're absolutely right! And it was French brandy, too.

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  3. I agree with Sue, I think we should all come to your place and assist you in "ridding" yourself of such imprefect looking candied fruits.
    I've had pipe dreams of making those spiced apples & pears for christmas gifts. Hasn't so much happened yet in the five years since I first thought I'd do it. At least you attempted to make them.

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    1. Carolyn - You just put on your traveling shoes and come up here. But, as I pointed out to Sue, anyone arriving after January 31st is on their own...

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  4. If your going to do it again next year they must taste good.

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    1. TL - Well, the cinnamon/brandy/syrup tastes pretty good...

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  5. I had a friend give me a bunch of those pears. I gave them to another friend. What she did with them I don't know. I do know they were gone two days later. May be we are all playing hot potato with them . LOL

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  6. The 35 or so hybrid Kiefer-Bosc pears we got this year (after a late spring frost messed with our anticipated bumper crop) looked too good to be true - which they were, since all were rotting from the inside out. No wonder the raccoons left every one of them for us. Wish I could smell your concoction...

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  7. Your first mistake was not sipping a delicate little glass of the French brandy WHILE you were processing the pears! Okay, so you got only 4 pints for all your hours of labor. (Why does this ratio sound very familiar to me?) But I'm betting those 4 pints will taste WONDERFUL! Be very selective with whom you share them. (Sue and Carolyn are worthy in my book!) I so admire you for always trying what I consider exotic food recipes. Not at all like the mac and cheese we're having for dinner tonight. (That's a lie, I just wanted to make a point. We're having a mixed roasted veggie casserole, salmon patties and our very. last. jar. of. applesauce. Waaah.)

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  8. They'll probably taste good, and you can drink the syrup! Or throw it over some ice cream :)

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  9. My mind's eye leads me astray quite cruelly. Usually it is with sewing or paint colours or jeans. I would have probably drunk at least one jar of pears by now.

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  10. Have to admire you for your stick-to-it-iveness. If it was me, they would have become candied brandied pear jam!

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